Got fleas?

Getting rid of fleas is like getting rid of lice. It takes all day, all of the eggs have to be destroyed and everything has to be washed. This usually has to be done all at once so the fleas don’t have a chance to come back. You have to work twice as hard to prevent fleas once you have a problem, but let’s take this one step at a time. No more panicking.

Flea bombs can seem like an easier way to deal with the problem, but they are highly poisonous and several precautions must be taken for them to be safe. You have to leave the house for hours (this includes your animals and even plants mind you) and cover anything edible or porous. Then once the poison has cleared out, you have to vacuum up all the dead fleas and eggs. Sounds gross, doesn’t it?

Here is an alternative method:

Put everything in the house away the night before so nothing is sitting out where it shouldn’t be.

Lock up your animals in the basement or one room. Crate them if necessary but make sure they have access to plenty of food and water.

Place all bedding the animal has touched in the washer and dryer, including the pet bed and any towels.

Scrub baking soda into the carpet (good old baking soda, what can’t it do?) and let it sit for as long as possible, at least three hours.

Vacuum the entire carpet. Make sure you get in the corners and along the baseboards. If you have a bag vacuum, airtight the bag and toss it. If your vacuum is bagless, take the vacuum outside and empty it out there.

Vacuum all the upholstery and furniture. Fleas can hide anywhere.

Repeat emptying the vacuum.

Outside, beat out all pillows, carpets, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, and fabrics, even in the closets.

Wash all the clothes dirty or otherwise.

Now it is time to bathe your pets. It is best to do this outside for dogs, but always inside for cats. Comb their fur while you bathe them so fleas can’t hide. Most of the fleas will head for your pet’s head which can be lightly brushed with a soft brush or simply pick off the fleas with tweezers and throw them in the water to drown. It is nearly impossible to squish them.

Take your pet out of the bath and drain it. Dry your pet and immediately put a flea preventative on them. This can be the topical cream, cedar oil, or feeding them yeast in some wet food. Whatever you prefer, this is the optimal time to do it so the fleas don’t get any ideas!

Take a thorough shower and bag the clothes you wore, tying the bag up tight. Fleas love human skin and hair just as much as pets. You might want to wash them at a laundry mat, or on a later date let them soak in your tub with a bit of laundry soap.

Every day for one week, vacuum thoroughly. It might also be a good idea to buy flea traps. Sticky paper works well too, but you might catch more than you bargained for, like a roach.

Now you see why it’s so important to prevent fleas rather than having to deal with them later.

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